The EC directive on End-of-Life vehicles (ELVs) aims to reduce, or prevent, the amount of waste produced from ELVs and increase the recovery and recycling of ELVs that do arise.The End-of-Life Vehicles Directive passed into European law in October 2000 and was due to be transposed into national law in all Member States by 21 April 2002. This was delayed (as in most other Member States), the UK is currently in the process of introducing the remaining provisions relating to producer responsibility Articles of the ELV Directive (5 and 7) and these will be transposed through the End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005.

Articles 5 and 7 require that:

  • Owners must be able to have their complete ELVs accepted by collection systems free of charge, even when they have a negative value, from 1 January 2007 at the latest;

  • Producers (vehicle manufacturers or professional importers) must pay ‘all or a significant part’ of the costs of take back and treatment for complete ELVs;

  • Rising targets for re-use, recycling and recovery must be achieved by economic operators by January 2006 and 2015

Vehicle data show that currently:

  • Around 2 million vehicles are scrapped in the UK every year

  • Around 1.2 million of these go to vehicle dismantlers in the first instance

  • The remaining 0.6 million go directly to scrap yards.